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Home Notes

June 10, 2010

Home Notes: 'Everyone knows your name'

—  The Clara Welch Thanksgiving Home, just like that once-popular television drinking establishment, is a place where everybody knows your name.

By the time their first day is over, new staffers have learned the names of all twenty-six residents.

It may take a bit longer for the new resident to learn all thirty-five staff names. One thing is certain, there’s no such thing as anonymity at The Clara Welch Thanksgiving Home. We have had two new staff members join us in the last few weeks _ Melissa Bard in Personal Care and Sue Caraftis in Dining Services. We welcome them both and hope they enjoy our journey.

When we have one of our regular all-staff, in-service meetings, those who cook, those who clean, those who care for, those who cut grass, or cut the checks, all come together, while residents man the phones and doors. As we all sit comfortably in our activity room, we are informed on a pertinent health or safety issue. If you work at CWTH, you are responsible for a thorough knowledge of the building, daily resident issues, and what to do in case of an emergency. I feel safe and secure here because I am surrounded by trained professionals.

David Brooks of the New York Times writes that ``the self is not a fixed entity but a dynamic process of relationships.’’

When people offer themselves up to become a dynamic process, boredom, helplessness, and loneliness disappear. People who are a dynamic process are engaged and are engaging. Together they form a dynamic community.

Through frequent and authentic social intercourse, residents and staff achieve social intimacy. While at the Thanksgiving Home, I enjoy spontaneous interactions with people who belong to me, as I belong to them. I ask questions about historic events. We query each other on trivia. We converse about movies, art and politics, or just share how our day went.

We observe, compliment, and playfully poke fun at each other. The generational lines, the roles, client and server, all distinctions, fade, and we are like relatives in one family. Roxanne Murray’s second grade class from Cooperstown Central visited in May.

We enjoyed watching them do the May Pole in our Living Room and they performed a few songs for us. They are a terrific bunch of children.

Facilities Manager Frank Miller’s daughter Lauren and son Lucas visited the Home on their day off of school.

Lauren did a spectacular job showing a photo presentation of their trip to the Bronx Zoo over the holiday weekend.

Each week on Wednesdays we have a Surprise Activity.

We have had a Memory Game, Bean bag toss, Charades, Hangman, and a $20,000 Pyramid like game. The last one was by far the best attended with Margaret Rees, Jeanette Hansen, Sue Stevens, Martha Quinn, Maureen Micek, Doris Blomquist, Bobbie Mook, Ellen Hankin, Peg Hage, Wally Pickhardt, Dot Gardner, Hildegard Parr, Art and Natalie Laidlaw, along with staff Melissa Bard, Karen Lottridge, Darcey Schilling, Kathy Lindberg, Deanna Gable, Mary Butler, and Jan Scrafford. I think curiosity gets the best of everyone and they need to come and see what fun we will be having.

We have started monthly Eden meetings for residents and staff. May’s meeting we went around the room to find out each person’s ``Simple Pleasure.’’ Some were _ watching the sun rise, drinking coffee in the morning, chatting with friends, making new friends at the Home, sleeping, reading, children, and playing cards. Our Eden bulletin board in the Activity Room is filling up with magazine clippings depicting these ``Simple Pleasures.’’

``To life’s simple pleasures, and its finer things: may we always have the wisdom to appreciate all of the former, and the means to afford a few of the latter.’’ _ Laura L. Hirschfeld.

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Home Notes
  • April activities fool many as spring comes, goes There were many April fool jokes played here at Clara Welch Thanksgiving Home on April 1. Some of us found our door name plates turned upside down or swapped with one from another door and furniture and objects were mysteriously moved around in our rooms. The dining room was completely transformed from its usual formal setting into a hodpodge of mismatched china and … horrors, plastic tablecloths and paper napkins. Each table was decorated with a different theme, Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Easter. Christmas carols played in the background. We suspect that Dee Bouck, of Personal Care and John Santello, Activities Director, were mainly responsible for this mayhem.

    April 24, 2014

  • Pete Rose on deck for TLC The man known to legions of baseball fans as Charlie Hustle still isn't being considered for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

    January 3, 2013

  • Holiday celebrations have begun We have decked the halls of the home with garland, the greenhouses delivered a magnificent wreath for the door and the largest poinsettias we've ever seen, with pristine white cyclamen to accent the tables.

    December 20, 2012

  • Home welcomes new residents We honored our residents who are veterans on Veterans Day, including Alberta Bowes, Bill Bowes, Janet Gorman, Art Laidlaw, Wally Pickhardt, Ralph Veenema and Grace Welsh. It is wonderful to have so many residents who served our country.

    November 21, 2012

  • Summer has been busy at the home

    In the spring we held a workshop to create a shared vision of a summer program that would provide meaningful and enriching experiences. Residents and staff partnered to brainstorm creative ideas, then a planning committee of  residents and staff worked out the details to organize and schedule the events from June through August. We’ve had many enjoyable and actionpacked days, and our journey will continue in August.

    August 30, 2012

  • Home Notes: Celebrations abound at the Thanksgiving Home

    April was a month of celebrations and much to appreciate. We had a 90th birthday celebration for Wanda Noyes on April 4 including her family and friends.  Personal care staff Dee Bouck worked with residents to hand paint Easter eggs for the tree in the activity room.

    May 11, 2012

  • Home Notes: Workshops held for Thanksgiving Home residents

    We welcomed Linda Keller, Ph.D. of the Bassett Research Institute and Ida Baker of NYCAMH who presented a six-week workshop for residents and staff.

    March 9, 2012

  • Home Notes: Residents enjoy harvest dinner

    The month of October was absolutely GOURD-geous at The Thanksgiving Home. We started off the month with a beautiful and festive harvest dinner for both staff and residents. As one big family, we sat around warm plates of turkey, fluffy mashed potatoes, delicious corn casserole and fresh rolls.

    November 10, 2011

  • Home Notes: Many surprises, much fun in September

    “Rainbows apologize for angry skies.” -- Sylvia Voirol
    The month of September began on a damp note at the home. The rains of  Hurricane Irene, flooded basements andwashed out roadways making it impossible for some staff to get to work during their scheduled times. Thank you to all who helped cover for each other during the rains!

    October 14, 2011

  • Home Notes: August is opera season

    “Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.” - Langston Hughes There is a never a shortage of humor at the  Thanksgiving Home, andAugust was no different.

    September 15, 2011